Olive maturity index was mainly developed to assist the olive producers in categorizing the maturity level of their olive numerically. But the real fact is that the different taste and flavor of the olive oil we have got is not because of olive maturity index alone and again the index itself is not also perfect. But the thing is that, this indexing is just an easy and superior process of documenting the fruit maturity level.
According to olive maturity index, the maturation of olive depends on some other things for example olive variety, the temperature it got, sunlight variation and irrigation process. In Spain, farmers cultivate 262 categories of olives, though only twenty four categories are used commonly in production of olive oils. Depending on olive maturity index, these 262 varieties of olives in Spain are grouped into 4 varieties:
Among all other categories produced in Spain, the most representative and important are Castillo de Canena Royal Temprano , Oro Bailen Reserva Familiar , Parqueoliva Serie Oro , Parqueoliva Serie Oro , Melgarejo Delicatesen Composition, etc.
The olive maturity index generally assists the farmers in evaluating their fruit categories under specific conditions of olive growing over several years. This actually helps them determine exactly when every variety needs to be harvested for obtaining the expected oil style of the producers. In Spain the olive maturity index is followed vastly. If a good quality olive oil is produced in Spain, this indexing process helps the Spanish producers repeat that olive oil style in following years through harvesting at similar maturity index every time.
Categorizing the fruit following olive maturity index is not an easy task. A blistering fall may cause olive to ripen fast, resulting in narrow opportunity for best possible picking. Again a chilly fall can cause green olive into winter. Sometimes most of the growers are pushed to pick that greener olive. Besides, there are some other verities which ripen quicker than others whether some olives mature later than others in the same orchard. For all these reasons the calculation of olive maturity index becomes little bit tough for the farmers. There are some ways what should be followed strictly for calculating the fruit maturity index.
The olive maturity index mainly depends on color of flesh and skin to evaluate the maturity of the olive. In Spain, olives fruits are picked from a number of representative different types of trees for filling a big container (the container needs to be around 2 -3lbs). Hundred olives need to be picked out randomly. The fruit is mainly pulled out from 100 to represent each of the 8 maturity levels. After that all the rest of those hundreds are compared to reference olives as well as classified accordingly. The fruits in every set are counted carefully. Actually olive maturity index is the summation of number of olive fruits in every group multiplied by score, with totting up then divided by hundred. Usually 2.5 to 4.5 maturity index is used for most of the olive oils. 3.0 to 5.0 maturity indexed olives have made their supreme oil content. Thing is, Spain is renowned as the biggest place for producing good quality olive oil and the reason behind this is Spanish farmers pick the olives at the similar maturity index year after year and that is why they can produce same flavored olive oil with excellent quality. For example, in Spain, 75% production of olive is made only at Andalucía and this place is also the 3rd largest olive producer in the whole world.